The unscriptural position of 'gay but celibate'

By Andrew McDonald - Posted at The Protestant Standard:

The wedge of compromise is always driven in at the thin end, something that is as true when dealing with the issue of homosexuality as it is with any other matter. Many evangelical churches today still take a faithful stand against same sex marriage, and denounce all homosexual acts as sinful. Yet where the compromise is increasingly being found is on the issue of homosexual desires, with a growing acceptance of the 'gay but celibate' argument. The concept of 'living out' as a Christian has been promoted by men such as Sam Alberry, with the term 'same sex attracted Christians' replacing homosexual, and gaining an increased acceptance. In most cases the groups advancing this view are teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, however the matter of 'same sex attraction' itself is not necessarily so. Is this approach biblical and one that we can accept, and what should our response be to this agenda?

The primary concern with the term 'same sex attracted' (SSA) and the 'gay but celibate' argument is that it minimises the extent of sin. The word of God is clear that not only are our actions sinful, but also our thoughts and desires. In Matthew 5:28 Christ goes to the heart of the matter concerning sin, when dealing with the issue of adultery. In that verse he warns that 'whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart'. To desire that which is sinful, is as much as to have committed the act itself. On no other moral issue would this same argument be given; would we approve and applaud the man who claimed that to continue in a state of desire for his neighbours wife was acceptable so long as he did not act on it? Why then accept the gay but celibate argument? Unlike heterosexual desires which have a legitimate outlet within marriage, there is no legitimate outlet for homosexual desires, but they are inherently sinful, and though they might never be acted upon those desires must also be repented of and rejected.

It used to be that the sin of homosexuality was a matter of shame. Ephesians 5:12 says that 'it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret'. Whilst this was once the case with homosexuality in the world, never mind the church, that is no longer so. That which Romans 1:27 described as 'unseemly', or shameful and indecent, is now spoken of openly. It is popular for 'SSA Christians' to talk of their struggles, and to bring greater focus on the topic of homosexual attraction. Where is the shame that was once associated with sin? Must we always talk publicly of our vices and temptations, revealing to the world the vile affections of our heart? The various sinful desires that continue to dwell within all of us should not be for public declaration, but rather for private mortification. Publicly identifying as a same sex attracted Christian bring unwanted publicity to a sin already being paraded every day by the world.